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Brewin Dolphin have put this guidance in an article on their website. Unfortunately, criminals see the current crisis as an opportunity. Please take precautions and keep your cash and invested assets safe.

With the entire world focused on coronavirus (Covid-19), fraudsters are taking advantage of the situation to target potential victims.

These scams can take many forms and could be about pensions transfers or high-return investment opportunities.

Scammers are sophisticated, opportunistic and very likely to target the vulnerable. Typically, scammers use fraudulent emails, phone calls, text messages or social media posts to offer help to customers by suggesting their service or product provides a ‘safe haven’ for money, investment opportunities ‘too good to miss’ or even expert medical guidance.

Using coronavirus as a cover story, criminals can also attempt to persuade recipients to disclose personal or financial information or click on links that may contain malware.

To help protect yourself you should:

  • Reject out of the blue offers
  • Beware of adverts on social media channels and paid for/sponsored adverts online
  • Refrain from clicking on links or opening emails from senders you don’t know
  • Avoid being rushed or pressured into making a quick decision
  • Call back existing providers who call you unexpectedly
  • Refuse to give out personal details (bank details, address, existing pensions or investment details) to unexpected callers or online requests

Remember, we, your bank, the FCA or the police will NEVER ask you to transfer money or move it to a safe-haven account.

To be safe, follow the advice of the Government and UK Finance led “Take Five to Stop Fraud” campaign. If you suspect a scam, call Action Fraud straight away on 0300 123 2040.

We endorse the protective measures outlined above by Brewin Dolphin. If you think your invested assets are at risk (lost, stolen or misplaced passwords?) please let us know immediately. We can instruct pension, investment and product providers to increase security measures.

Steve Speed